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Rouhani Warns of Turning Fight Against Corruption into Internal Disputes

Rouhani Warns of Turning Fight Against Corruption into Internal Disputes

Thursday, 14 November, 2019 - 12:45
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US, September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the fight against corruption has been causing internal disagreements, but at the same time, went back on harsh criticism against the judiciary, implicitly attributing his recent positions to the upcoming parliamentary elections.

He also pointing out that his talk about the disappearance of two billion dollars “is not new.”

During the weekly cabinet meeting at the government headquarters, Rouhani talked about the exchange of criticism between him and his opponents.

He underlined the need to “maintain unity and calm in the country”, indirectly hinting at angry reactions by the judiciary and conservatives, whom he had accused of lack of transparency in dealing with corruption cases.

The Iranian president also called for equality for all in the fight against corruption.

“I wish we had seen all the parties, groups, ideas and anyone who committed corruption appearing in courts, but we saw some who get covered while others are being tried,” he noted.

Despite Rouhani’s decision to soften his criticism, senior Iranian government officials on Wednesday insisted on attacking the judiciary in its dealing with corruption.

“The fight against corruption must be transparent and reassuring, and must include everyone,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rubaie told reporters on Wednesday.

“Information about corruption cases that the president talked about was handed over to the judiciary,” state-run news agency ISNA quoted the Iranian president’s assistant for legal affairs, Laya Junaidi, as saying.

“There has been no tangible progress in pursuing corruption,” she added.

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